The city of Khānsār has been productive of great scholars, literary figures, and artists of renown, including divine scholars such as the late grand Ayatollahs āqā Husayn Khānsārī, āqā Jamāl Khānsārī, Sayyed Muhammad Taqī Khānsārī, and Sayyid Ahmad ī (Peace be upon them). The great Ustād Husayn Ansāriān
scholar, Ustād ("master") Husayn Ansāriān was born in this city in 1323/1944. His father descended from the household of Hāj Shaykh, recognized as a renowned household who rendered great services to the Islamic faith and produced scholars of high ranks. The late grand Ayatollah Shaykh Mūsā Ansāriān (Khānsārī), whose erudition and piety is well-known to scholars, belongs to the same family.
The late Imam Khomeini (May his soul rest in peace) was reported as saying that the best book on salāt (prayers) in Shi'i jurisprudence had been authored by the late Ayatollah Ansāriān. He penned tens of scholarly works including Munyat al-tālib, comprising the annotations collected at the late Nā'ini's lectures. All scholars in Najaf recognized him as the greatest jurisprudent only second to the grand Ayatollah Isfahānī, but he did not live long and did not outlive the late Sayyid.
The great scholar's household on the maternal side has been of the Mustafavī Sayyids of the city and his grandfather on his maternal line was a creditable and trustworthy figure and many a scholars from Najaf and Qom stayed with him upon their arrival at Khānsār. In this regard, the great scholar narrates a reminiscence of his from his third year of life: "One day the grand Ayatollah Muhammad Taqī Khānsārī had come to my grandfather's house. I was still a child. I opened the door to the room and approached the grand Ayatollah immediately and sat on his lap. My grandfather stepped forward to take me to the private quarters of the house, but the grand Ayatollah declined, caressed me and inquired: 'What would you like to be in future?' and I replied 'I'd like to be like you.' He uttered devotions for my sake. Whenever I recall the memory and reminisce his divine visage and devotions, one of my sweetest recollections comes to my mind."
Ustad Ansāriān was three years old when his family moved to Tehran and settled in a religious neighborhood (Khurāsān Street) there. At that time, the center of the scholarly circle was the late Ayatollah Hājj Shaykh 'Alī Akbar Burhān. Our Ustād benefited from that divine scholar since his early childhood. The grand scholar has repeatedly declared that "he has not seen his peer among the divine figures."
Being an erudite scholar and a virtuous jurisprudent, Ayatollah Burhān held the imamate of the Friday prayers at Lurzadeh Mosque at the time. He managed the affairs of the mosque in such a way that people from different ages were absorbed by that divine center. He also founded a school in that neighborhood whose students were directly educated by him from the first grade. Thus Ustād Ansāriān relates a reminiscence of his regarding the late Burhān: "I heard many a time from that late scholar, on the pulpit and also at his lectures that he did not favor to end his days in Tehran and be interred there. The issue had entered into his devotions which he entreated from the Almighty on the nights of ihyā', commemorating the martyrdom of Imam 'Alī (AS). At last, in 1338/1954, when I was 14 years old, that great scholar passed away on his pilgrimage to Mecca and was buried in Jeddah in the vicinity of Eve's (AS) tomb."
The late scholar's virtues, conducts, and way of life have had such a profound impact on Ustād Ansāriān that he still feels his empty place in his life.
Since childhood, Ustād Ansāriān was intimately acquainted with divine figures, such as the late Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Taqī Ghazanfarī, the leader of Friday prayers at Du-rāh Mosque (the Ustad's father's neighborhood in the city of Khānsār). Thus Ustād Ansāriān relates a memory of the late scholar which reveals his spiritual and divine intimate acquaintance with great figures and sages: "In the first year of my studying at the seminary, of which the late scholar Ayatollah Ghazanfarī had become aware, he prepared a memorable feast on the occasion of my studying at the seminary and invited my father's relations as well as a number of the inhabitants of the neighborhood. Such feast thrown on the occasion of my studies by such virtuous scholar provided me with incomparable incentive to further my studies. He was a virtuous scholar who led a simple life and for many a year led the Friday prayers at the time of the tyrannous Pahlavi regime."
Another divine figure was the late Ayatollah Sayyid Husayn 'Alawī Khānsārī. He was one of the renowned jurisprudents of Khānsār who led the prayers and taught at Mahalla-ye Bālā ("the Upper Neighborhood") in Khānsār (the neighborhood in which the Ustād's relations on his maternal side resided) and hundreds of students benefited from his lectures. He left Najaf for Khānsār while the Shaykhs of that great scholar had confirmed his expertise in jurisprudence in writing.
Let us listen to another reminiscence of his: "It was my first year wearing the clerical attire. I went to Khānsār to pay a visit to my grandfather on the maternal side, the late Sayyid Muhammad Bāqir Mustafawī, my grandmother, and other relations. An acquaintance of mine met me on the street and said: "Would you deliver sermons at āqā Asad Allāh (āqā Asdollā) Mosque for ten evenings?" I accepted the offer. Upon my arrival, I saw the virtuous scholar (the late Ayatollah 'Alawī) among the audience. I wondered at his attendance at the sermon of a fledgling like me. I thought he might be there to meet with the person who had requested the sermon to be delivered, though I was surprised to find him there all the time. He had made his presence there to encourage me."
Another figure is Ayatollah Hājj Sayyid Muhammad 'Alī b. al-Radā Khānsārī, with whom our Ustād has been acquainted since childhood as a family relation. Regarding this pious scholar, our Ustād remarks: "Since childhood I learned a great and fundamental point from this pious and distinguished scholar which I still bear in my mind. Each and every Friday evening following the late evening prayer, he stood and recited Imam Husayn's (AS) prayer for the public with such devotions that his spiritual relationship with the Lord of the Martyrs (AS) has profoundly touched my heart and has affected on my morals in a positive way."
Another great figure with whom Ustād Ansāriān was acquainted was the late scholar Ilāhī Qumshe-ī, from whose lectures on ethics he benefitted a great deal.
The above factors (family background and studying ethics) led our distinguished Ustād to study religious sciences following his graduation from high school as well as consultation with the late scholar Ilāhī Qumshe-ī.
Ustād Ansāriān received his seminary education at the scholarly centers in Tehran and Qom. In Tehran, he commenced his literary studies and upon their completion turned to the divine scholar Ayatollah Mīrzā 'Alī Falsafī, who at that time had succeeded the late Burhān as the Imam of prayers at Lurzādeh Mosque, and requested him to study Ma'ālim al-Usūl with him. Being as one of the few scholars entitled to practice jurisprudence through the written permission of the late grand Ayatollah Khu'ī, the distinguished scholar granted the request. Following the completion of studying Lum'atayn (i.e. Shaykh Abū 'Abd Allāh Muhammad b. Makkī 'Amilī's al-Lum'at al-Dimashqīyya, and its commentary, i.e. Zayn al-Dīn b. Nūr al-Dīn 'Alī Jaba'ī 'Āmilī's al-Rawdat al-Bahīyya fī Sharh al-Lum'at al-Dimashqīyya) and Ma'ālim (i.e. Jamāl al-Dīn Abū Mansūr Hasan b. Zayn al-Dīn's Ma'ālim al-Dīn wa Malādh al-Mujtahidīn), he asks for Ayattolah Falsafi's permission to move to Qom seminary. The latter encourages him, embraces him kindly, as when he is asked to provide his student with some admonition, Ayatollah Falsafī provides him with the prophetic tradition "Man kāna li-llāh kāna 'llāhū lahū" ("One who is with God, God is with him"). Our Ustād says: Since that day, I have done my best to be with God and have noticed that God has always been with me. Yes, whoever is with God, God shall be with him." He did his best to maintain intimate acquaintance with divine figures in Qom, as he had done so in Tehran. Therefore, he turned towards the late Ayatollah Hājj Shaykh 'Abbās Tihrānī and benefited plentifully from his fruitful lectures.
He also attended the Hājj Āqā Husayn Fātimī's lectures on ethics and thus remarks in this regard: "Most of Ayatollah Fātimī's lectures on ethics were ecstatic and filled the lecturer's and his students' eyes with tears."
Ustād Ansāriān was frocked at the hands of the late Ayatollah Hājj Shaykh 'Abbās Tihrānī and furthered his studies. He studied Shaykh Murtadā Ansārī's Rasā'il (or: Farā'id al-Usūl), al-Makāsib (or: al-Muta'ajjir), and Mullā Muhammad Kāzim Khurāsānī Hirawī's Kifāyat al-Usūl) under great scholars such as: Ayatollah I'timādī, the grand Ayatollah Fādil Lankarānī, Ayatollah Sālihī Najafābādī, and Ayatollah Sāni'ī. Following the completion of the higher levels of his studies, he entered the inferential stage (khārij) in jurisprudence (Fiqh) and its principles (usūl). At this stage, he benefited from grand jurisprudents like the late Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Muhaqqiq Dāmād, Ayatollah Muntazirī, the late Ayatollah Hājj Shaykh Abū 'l-Fadl Najafī Khānsārī, and particularly the late grand Ayatollah Hājj Mīrzā Hāshim Āmulī. The fruits of these years were the invaluable annotations on Jurisprudence and its principles taken from the late Ayatollah Hājj Mīrzā Hāshim Āmulī's lectures. In Tehran, he also benefited from Ayatollah Gīlānī on philosophical discussions and Hujjat al-Islām Jawādī on rhetorical art (bayān) and figures of speech (badī').
It is to be noted that following such considerable endeavors, Ustād Ansāriān has received permissions (ijāzāt) to teach and narrate traditions from grand Ayatollahs and authorities such as: the late grand Ayatollah Mīlānī, the late grand Ayatollah Akhūnd Hamadānī, the late Ayatollah Kamari'ī, the late grand Ayatollah Gulpāyigānī, the late grand Ayatollah Hājj Sayyid Ahmad Khunsārī, the late grand Ayatollah Mar'ashī Najafī, and the late grand Ayatollah Imam Khomeini.
Having studied religious sciences and following the completion of the highest seminary studies and benefiting from the circles of the distinguished Ustāds at the seminaries, he made great efforts to return to Tehran from the Qom Islamic seminary in order to attain to his main goal and the most important issue for a student of Islamic sciences, i.e. studying, compiling books, and propagating Islamic sciences. So far, he has been fulfilling his divine duties for more than thirty years and the fruits of his obligation to stay in Tehran have been approximately 4,000 recorded novel lectures and sermons and more than 40 books (approximately 80 volumes).
List of Ustād Ansāriān's works:
1. Translation of the Holy Qur'an.
2. Translation of Nahj al-Balāgha.
3. Translation of Sahīfat al-Kāmilat al-Sajjādīyya.
4. Translation and paraphrase of Mafātīh al-Janān.
5. Commentary on Kūmayl's Devotions. New edition.
6. Ahl-e Bayt, 'Arshīyān-e Farshneshīn ("The Prophet's (AS) Household, the Earth Inhabiting Divines").
7. Mu'āsherat ("sociability, association").
8. Jelve-hā-ye Rahmat-e Elāhī ("Manifestations of Divine Blessings").
9. Farhang-e Mehr-varzī ("The Culture of Love").
10. 'Ebrat-Āmūz ("Admonitions").
11. Zībā'ī-hā-ye Akhlāq ("The Beauties of Good Morals").
12. Tawbe, Āghūsh-e Rahmat ("Repentance, the bosom of Mercy").
13. Bar Bāl-e Andīshe ("On the Wings of Thought"), 2 vols., in print.
14. Bā Kāravān-e Nūr ("Accompanying the Caravan of Light").
15. Sīmā-ye Namāz ("The visage of Prayers").
16. Luqmān-e Hakīm ("Luqman, the Sage").
17. Furūghī az Tarbīyat-e Eslāmī ("Beams of Light from Islamic Education").
18. Rasā'il-e Hajj ("Treatises on Pilgrimage to Mecca").
19. Dīvān-e Ash'ār (Majmu'a-ye Ghazalīyyāt) ("Poetical Works, Collection of Ghazals).
20. Pursesh-hā va Pāsukh-hā ("Questions and Answers"), 5 vols., in print.
21. Nezām-e Khānevāde dar Eslām ("The Family System in Islam").
22. Mūnes-e Jān ("The Beloved").
23. 'Erfān-e Eslāmī (Sharh-e Misbāh al-Sharī'a) ("Islamic Mysticism, Commentary on M.), 15 vols, new edition.
24. Dīyār-e 'Āsheqān (Sharh-e Sahīfa al-Sajjādīyya) ("The Land of Lovers, Commentary on S.), 15 vols, in print.
25. Seyr-ī dar Ma'āref-e Eslāmī, ("Survey of Islamic Teachings"), vol.1, 'Aql, Kelīd-e Ganj-e Sa'ādat ("Intellect, the Key to the Treasure of Happiness"), vol.2, 'Aql, Mahram-e Rāz-e Malakūt ("Intellect, the Confidant of the Secret of the Heaven"), vol.3, Hadīth-e 'Aql va Nafs ("Discourse on Intellect and Soul").
26. Majmū'a-ye Sukhanrānī-hā-ye Mawzū'ī ("Collection of Twenty Lectures Arranged by Topics").
27. Eslām va Kār va Kūshesh ("Islam, Work, and Effort").
28. Eslām va 'Elm va Dānesh ("Islam, Science, and Knowledge").
29. Imām Hasan Ebn-e 'Alī rā Behtar Beshenāsīm ("Let Us Improve Our Knowledge Regarding Hasan b. 'Alī (AS).
30. Ma'navīyyat, Asāsī-tarīn Nīyāz-e 'Asr-e Mā ("Spirituality, The Greatest Need of Our Time").
31. Besū-ye Qūr'ān va Eslām ("Towards The Qur'an and Islam").
32. Marz-e Rushanā'ī ("Border of Light", collection of poetry).
33. Munājāt-e 'Ārefān ("Mystics' Devotions", collection of poetry).
34. Chashme-sār-e 'Eshq ("Fountain of Love", collection of poetry).
35. Golzār-e Muhabbat ("Garden of Love", collection of poetry).
36. 'Ebrat-hā-ye Rūzgār ("Lessons of Time").
37. Nasīm-e Rahmat ("Breeze of Mercy").
38. Akhlāq-e Khūbān ("Moralia of the Good).
39. Dar Bārgah-e Nūr ("At the Threshold of Light").
40. Chehel Hadīth-e Hajj ("Forty Traditions Regarding Pilgrimage to Mecca").
41. Hajj, Vādī-ye Amn ("Pilgrimage to Mecca, the Land of Security").
42. Chehre-hā-ye Mahbūb va Manfūr-e Qur'ān ("Loveable and Disgusting Characters in the Qur'an").
43. Adab vaĀdāb-e Zā'er ("Pilgrims' Rites").
44. Rāhī be Sū-ye Akhlāq-e Eslāmī ("A Path towards Islamic Ethics").
45. Velāyat va Rahbarī az Dīdgāh-e Nahj al-Balāgha ("Government and Leadership as Reflected in N.").
46. Majmū'a-ye Maqālāt ("Collected Essays").
47. 'Ubūdīyyat ("Submission").
48. Shifā' dar Qūr'ān ("Cure in Islam").
49. Nafts ("Soul").
50. Taqrīrāt-e Dars-e Marhūm Āyatullāh al-'Uzmā Hājj Mīrzā Hāshem-e Amulī ("Annotations Taken at the Lectures delivered by the Late A., ms.).
51. Taqrīrt-e Dars-e Khrej-e Marhūm Āyatullāh al-'Uzma Hājj Shaykh Abūlfazl-e Najafī-ye Khānsārī ("Annotations Taken at the Lectures Delivered by the Late A. for Students at the Inferential Level", ms.)
So far, the following books by the great Ustād have been translated:
1. Bā Kāravān-e Nūr ("Accompanying the Caravan of Light"), English.
2. Nezām-e Khānevāde dar Eslām ("The Family System in Islam"), English, Urdu, Russian, Turkish, Arabic.
3. Commentary on Kumayl Devotions. Arabic, Urdu, English.
4. Tawbe, Āghūsh-e Rahmat ("Repentance, the Bosom of Mercy"), Arabic, English, Urdu.
5. Luqmān-e Hakīm ("Luqman, the Sage"), Urdu.
6. Dīyār-e 'Āsheqān (Sharh-e Sahīfa al-Sajjādīyya) ("The Land of Lovers, Commentary on S.), 2 vols., English.
7. Ahl-e Bayt, 'Arshīyāan-e Farshneshīn ("The Prophet's (AS) Household, the Earth Inhabiting Divines"), Urdu, Arabic, English, Russian.